Noel ejected as Sixers fall to Magic

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76ers forward Nerlens Noel shoots the ball as Magic forward Tobias Harris defends.

The 76ers remain winless.

Their latest loss came Saturday night in a 105-97 defeat against the Orlando Magic at the Wells Fargo Center.

The defeat dropped them to 0-6 heading into a home game Monday against the Chicago Bulls. It also marked their 11th loss in their last 14 meetings with the Magic (3-4) in Philadelphia.

The Sixers were within four points (99-95) with 37 seconds left. However, the Magic made six foul shots down the stretch to seal the win.

The game had its fair share of rough play that led to Nerlens Noel's ejection in the third quarter. He left for what the referees believed was retaliation for being fouled.

Noel was being guarded by Orlando center and former Sixer Jason Smith with 1 minute, 51 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Smith planted an elbow in Noel's chest, knocking the Sixer back. While falling backward, Noel appeared to respond with a faint forearm shiver. After the play, Noel tried to confront the Magic player before the two were separated. The power forward said he was actually hit twice by Smith.

"I got hit in my ribs and tried to be the smartest player I could," Noel said. "I reacted, but I pulled away being a smart player and knowing my team needed me."

Smith was called for an offensive foul, while Noel received a flagrant 2 foul and had to leave the court. The 6-foot-11, 223-pounder finished with a season-low two points on 1-for-4 shooting to go with four rebounds.

"I think it was a tough call," Noel said. "It didn't go the way I expected. But they get paid to do what they do. It was a tough call. . . . It just wasn't the call I was expecting."

Smith was booed every time he touched the ball or reentered the game the rest of the way.

But that wasn't the end of the rough play.

Jerami Grant left the game with a corneal abrasion with 6:32 remaining after being poked in the left eye by former Sixers center Dewayne Dedmon, who started in place of another former Sixer, the injured Nik Vucevic (bone bruise in right knee).

Without Noel, the Sixers suffered on the defensive end as the Magic were able to penetrate at will in the fourth quarter. Foul shooting, however, decided this game.

Orlando went 10 for 10 from the line in the fourth quarter, while the Sixers made just 7 of 14. They ended up shooting 53.8 percent for the game (14 of 26).

Isaiah Canaan scored a season-high 23 points in his second game as a reserve shooting guard for the Sixers. Canaan made a season-high six three-pointers on 12 attempts and also had three rebounds. The 6-foot, 201-pounder had started the first three games at point guard. He was the backup point guard against the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday before playing shooting guard the last two games.

Rookie center Jahlil Okafor added 19 points and five rebounds.  Shooting guard Nik Stauskas added a career-high 18 points and career-high tying five assists. T.J. McConnell finished with six points, nine assists, eight rebounds, two blocks and five turnovers.

Elfrid Payton paced the Magic with 20 points, scoring 12 in the final quarter. The Sixers drafted Payton with the 10th pickin the 2014 draft and traded him for the rights to Dario Saric, a top-11 first-round pick and a 2015 second-round matchup.

McConnell has been able to thrive as the primary point guard while Tony Wroten and Kendall Marshall rehabilitate right anterior cruciate ligament tears.

Sixers coach Brett Brown said three weeks ago that Marshall could return at the earliest in November. He added that Wroten would be sidelined at least until December.

On Friday, however, Brown said he was unsure when they would return. The players are eager to get back on the court.

kpompey@phillynews.com

@PompeyOnSixers

www.inquirer.com/deepsixer